The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Hardcore mode
RequirementsBeat the game on Hardcore mode
Gamer Score100
Trophy TypeGold

Hardcore mode is a gameplay mode in Fallout: New Vegas, that introduces new aspects of survival into the playthrough. Hardcore is an achievement/trophy in Fallout: New Vegas.


The achievement is awarded for completing the game from start to finish in Hardcore Mode. The mode is initially available just before you leave Doc Mitchell's house for the first time and the player is given the achievement/trophy for keeping hardcore on continuously from this point until completing the main quest line. Switching off Hardcore Mode at any time during the play through will prevent this achievement from being awarded.

Game mode

Hardcore mode can be toggled off at any time through the options menu. Once turned off, it can be turned back on at any time, but does not result in unlocking the achievement/trophy.

In this mode, stimpaks and other healing items heal over time instead of all at once, RadAway removes radiation over time in a similar manner, ammunition has weight, and the Courier must stay hydrated, eat periodically, and have a regular sleep cycle. Limbs can only be restored by a doctor's bag, hydra, or by visiting an actual doctor. Sleeping does not heal health points or crippled limbs, unless it is in an owned bed. In addition, recruited companions can die permanently.

Game play differences

Casual Hardcore
Stimpaks and food heal instantly. Stimpaks and food heal over time.
RadAway heals radiation poisoning instantly. RadAway heals radiation poisoning over time.
Doctor's bags heal limbs fully. Doctor's bags heal limbs partially.
Crippled limbs can be healed with stimpaks, or by sleeping in any bed or mattress. Only a doctor, a doctor's bag, sleeping in certain beds, healing poultice, weapon binding ritual, Auto-Doc, or hydra can heal a crippled limb.
Ammunition is weightless. Ammunition has weight.
Companions do not die. Companions can die. However, they still heal after battle.
No dehydration. No starvation. No sleep deprivation. The Courier must drink, eat, and have proper sleep cycles or will suffer increasing negative effects, up to immediate death.

Status Effects

Need 200 400 600 800 1000 Growth-rate
H2O -1 END -1 PER, -2 END -2 PER, -1 INT, -3 END -2 PER, -3 END, -2 AGL, -1 INT DEATH ~12/h
(1 every 10s)
FOD -1 STR -2 STR, -1 CHR -3 STR, -1 PER, -2 CHR -3 STR, -2 PER, -2 CHR DEATH ~4.75/h
(1 every 25s)
SLP -1 AGL -1 INT, -2 AGL -2 INT, -1 END, -3 AGL -2 INT, -2 END, -3 AGL DEATH ~2.4/h (1 every 50s)
(~ -60/h Sleep)
Note: The hours are for game time; the seconds for real time.


  • Doctor's bags function similarly to stimpaks when healing limb damage. They can be used to heal all crippled limbs at once (but only healing each limb minimally) or used on specific limbs to heal much more.
  • Sleeping in an owned bed and getting well rested causes you to heal 100%, including limbs.
  • Hydra heals all limbs over time, functioning the same as in Casual mode.
  • In many cases, food created at a campfire will heal far more than stimpaks.
  • When beginning the Dead Money add-on while on Hardcore mode, the player will wake up in the Villa with all Hardcore meters at zero, proceeding at normal rate from that point, but the SLP meter will be stuck at zero unless the player finds a bed and sleeps.


  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png The cause is still unknown, but sometimes one or more of the Hardcore needs (such as H20, FOOD, SLP) will disappear, and will not even indicate a 0 integer. But you can fix it by going into the options then turning hardcore off/on again and that will reset all of your needs to 0. But this seems to be a redundant problem once it happens the first time, and starts upon loading a save. A way to fix it is to make a backup save, and delete the old file.
    • Another fix for the above bug is to use an item that increases/decreases the meter of said needs (i.e. of 0 integer is missing in SLP then take a nap and the integer will reset to 0).
      • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png If the above tips do not work the first time, you may need to initiate them more than once.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png the unpatched version of the game sometimes glitches and stops players from leveling up though still registering experience.
  • PCIcon pc.png If you transfer your save game to a new computer and continue playing, the Hardcore achievement may not register upon completing the game, even if Hardcore mode was never turned off.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png The sleep meter will not go below 2.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Hardcore meters (H2O/Food/Sleep) may sometimes stop increasing in "real time." Sleeping, waiting, or fast traveling will still cause them to increase, though. Reloading a previous save can sometimes "unstick" the meters, but they tend to become stuck again after approximately 10–11 minutes of gameplay. No cause is yet known for this glitch.
  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Occasionally when you load a game the meters may be higher than they were when you saved it, causing you to be hungry, tired, or dehydrated even though you were fine at the point of saving.

See also